Big waste­water spill in Sonoma County

San Francisco Chronicle - - BAY AREA - By John King John King is a San Fran­cisco Chron­i­cle staff writer. Email: jk­[email protected]­i­cle.com Twit­ter: @johnk­ings­fchron

Roughly 2 mil­lion gal­lons of waste­water spilled into a slough in south­ern Sonoma County this week­end be­cause of a leak­ing pipe valve — but any eco­log­i­cal im­pact ap­pears min­i­mal, of­fi­cials said.

The spill be­gan Fri­day morn­ing from a man­u­ally op­er­ated valve south of Schel­lville and the Carneros wine re­gion along High­way 12. It ended Satur­day at 10:45 a.m.

“By all ap­pear­ances the valve was closed, but ap­par­ently it didn’t fully seal,” said Ann DuBay, a spokes­woman for the Sonoma County Wa­ter Agency. The prob­lem was spot­ted when an op­er­a­tor at the Sonoma Val­ley County San­i­ta­tion Dis­trict of­fices “no­ticed that num­bers looked strange” on the mon­i­tors track­ing the flu­ids in the pipes.

Work­ers were able to tem­po­rar­ily seal the valve, which will re­main out of ser­vice un­til it is fixed or re­placed, DuBay said.

Be­cause of the na­ture

of the spill, the wa­ter agency no­ti­fied the State Of­fice of Emer­gency Ser­vices, the San Fran­cisco Bay Re­gional Wa­ter Qual­ity Con­trol Board and Cal­i­for­nia Depart­ment of Fish and Wildlife. En­vi­ron­men­tal spe­cial­ists in­spected the scene.

“For­tu­nately, there is no sign of eco­log­i­cal dam­age,” DuBay said. “A lot of wa­ter is in the sys­tem right now be­cause of the re­cent rain, so what­ever spilled out prob­a­bly was pretty di­luted.”

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